Fear not: the new Maserati Kubang crossover, which premiered at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, may share its platform with Jeep’s Grand Cherokee, but it’s hardly a badge-engineered abomination.
The Kubang takes its name and profile from the Giugario-penned 2003 concept of the same name, but little else. Maserati’s design team, headed by Lorenzo Ramaciotti, lent the new model its own unique visual identity. The curvaceous roof and traditional Maserati grille are shared with its forebear, but crisp edges and character lines -- much like those found on the GranTurismo -- lend the new model a fresh, contemporary (yet conservative) form.
Maserati dubs this a concept, but a production variant will differ very little from what you see here. The Kubang, which rides upon Chrysler’s WK2 platform, will be built alongside its siblings (i.e. Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango) in Detroit, Michigan. Like other current Maseratis, the Kubang will use a V-8 engine built within Ferrari’s plant in Maranello, Italy. An promised eight-speed automatic was reportedly developed in-house, but we’re wouldn’t be surprised if that refers to Chrysler’s ZF-licensed eight-speed transmission.
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